(Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)
DO NOT PUT SAND IN INCENSE BURNER
Caller: Hello Master Lu. I heard from a Buddhist friend who had just set up a new altar, said that he put rice grains in the incense burner for offering of incense, but it ended up catching fire. I don’t understand why do they use rice grains instead of incense ashes.
Master Jun Hong Lu: One could utilise rice grains while there is not enough incense ashes at the beginning stage. However, once the incense ashes accumulate over time, the rice grains can be completely removed. It was catching fire not because of the rice grains but because the incense kept burning even below the surface of ashes and rice grains. When a new incense is offered while the existing incense is still burning underneath, flames will sparked off from the bottom when the burning point of the incenses meet.
Caller: Could we use clean sands in replacement if incense ashes are not available?
Master Jun Hong Lu: No, no way! Sands are meant for the underworld, for ghosts, for Preta realm, don’t be foolish!< About Buddhist Altar